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Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: Do we have to go to probate court for all assets on an estate even if we only have questions on a portion of the estate?

My father recently passed away. He did not have a will. My mother is alive and was his legal spouse. Most of the assets are in both of their names. My dad had a life insurance policy on me and one for my sister where he was beneficiary. My mom was not listed on the policies. He had taken out a loan... Read more »

Angela L. Haas
Angela L. Haas
answered on Jun 28, 2022

You don't have to go to court at all, if your mother will be administering his estate. Have her meet with an attorney as to what to do, as the attorney will want to review all assets and debts related to the estate, before giving any definitive answer. If you or your sister intend to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Banking for Georgia on
Q: Are gold bond stamps worth anything now?
Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jun 28, 2022

Apparently they are. A quick internet search revealed this:

To redeem S&H Green Stamps call the toll-free number 1-800-435-5674 and request a catalog. Stamps are redeemable in merchandise or cash at $1.20 per full book. If you want to redeem your stamps for cash, mail the books to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: My in-laws had their will/trust drawn up by a company that’s no longer in business. How do we find the original?

The company was Mid-South Estate Planning, which seems to have been charged with fraud or illegal practice.

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jun 28, 2022

In the "old days" attorneys did routinely hold original wills in their safes. This was in part due to the fact that most regular folk could not afford their own safes and partly due to the attorney's desire to handle the probate when the client died. Now that safes are more... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I have purchased the NOLO press app for doing your own trust but friends are telling me that it may not be accepted i

in California. Do you know if it is accepted?. If not does you organization help Seniors on this?. Thanks ,

Andrei Jingan
Andrei Jingan
answered on Jun 27, 2022

Dear Mr. Hughes, it's hard to tell if the do-it-yourself trust generated by NOLO press app would be accepted in California or if it would fully meet your estate planning needs without having it completely reviewed by a California estate planning attorney. I suggest reaching out to a local... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for North Carolina on
Q: 1: I want estate ownership moved to a relative

1: I want estate ownership moved to a relative (great nephew). Estate (house and 9 acres).

2: I want to live in house and maintain yard (1 acre) as it is mine.

3: I want not to show any income increase (capital gain, other).

4: Inheritance Will with rights of ownership at... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
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Ben Corcoran
answered on Jun 27, 2022

It sounds like you need to have a consultation with a lawyer to explain what you want to do and why you are doing it. Because while everything you asked is possible it may not have the effects you intend.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Hawaii on
Q: I want to file a death certificate with the Bureau of Conveyances for a joint tenant on a property in Hawaii on which I

am the other tenant with rights of survivorship.They informed me that I must have a lawyer do this for me. If this is true,what would be the costs? I live in Alaska.

Kelly LaPrade
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Kelly LaPrade
answered on Jun 26, 2022

If it is just Bureau of Conveyances then I can prepare and file this for about an hour’s worth of time plus filing fee. If it is Land Court then it is much more complicated. You can email me at: kelly@westmauilegal.com for more info on my hourly rate.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: In NJ, if there are two Memorandums of Tangible Personal Property, does the most recent override the first one?

One was handwritten around 2007, maybe earlier. The other one was written in 2014. The first list contains a necklace that was given to me, by my mother in 2014. My mother passed Dec, 2021. The other sister says it’s still part of the list and wants it back. I strongly disagree.

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Jun 26, 2022

Sounds like you have the item and it was on the later list so it sounds like you have the right to keep it. But a lawyer would need to review all the documents and the estate documents issued by the probate court to tell you anything with certainty.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: In NJ, if there are two Memorandums of Tangible Personal Property, does the most recent override the first one?

One was handwritten around 2007, maybe earlier. The other one was written in 2014. The first list contains a necklace that was given to me, by my mother in 2014. My mother passed Dec, 2021. The other sister says it’s still part of the list and wants it back. I strongly disagree.

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Jun 26, 2022

If the item were a gift and delivered to you and is presently in your possession, the item belongs to you. If no delivery of the gift took place, the second controls,

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: My sister passed away and I am the one who managed her trust. It is to be split between me and two brothers.

My sister passed away and I am the one who managed her trust (approximately $250K). It is to be split between me and two brothers. My question is, do I simply distribute the trust, a third each and have each of us 3 declare the inheritance and pay taxes at our year end taxes, or does the trust pay... Read more »

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
answered on Jun 24, 2022

You really need to retain an experienced Probate attorney, who will know how to handle the provisions of the trust. This is a legal question, not an accounting question. Only attorneys are licensed to give legal advice, not accountants. Another type of attorney you could consider is an Estate and... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: My sister passed away and I am the one who managed her trust. It is to be split between me and two brothers.

My sister passed away and I am the one who managed her trust (approximately $250K). It is to be split between me and two brothers. My question is, do I simply distribute the trust, a third each and have each of us 3 declare the inheritance and pay taxes at our year end taxes, or does the trust pay... Read more »

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Jun 24, 2022

This is aquestion best answered by a CPA.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Any interested party can request removal of an administrator? So if I am a sister in law can I petition the court?

My husband has 6 siblings all beneficiary’s of an estate in probate. My husband wants me to handle the probate and so do 3 other siblings because their sister the one in charge is mishandling things. Am I allowed to do that being that I am only a sister in law ?

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jun 23, 2022

It will be more air-tight if your husband or one of his siblings petitions for the removal of the existing administrator per Probate section 8500 and at the same time, nominates you as the successor per Probate Code section 8520. Here is a link to the code sections:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Does each beneficiary have to sign a petition to have the administrator removed ? Do all 6 have to be in agreement?

Also one of the beneficiaries has passed away was paperwork suppose to be submitted to the court to show this? The current administrator is not trustworthy at all can she hide the money once property is sold by any chance?

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jun 23, 2022

No. According to Probate Code section 8500, any interested party can petition the court to remove an administrator. The language of section 8500 is as follows:

8500. (a) Any interested person may petition for removal of the personal representative from office. A petition for removal may...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: On a Grant Deed of the vacant land lot property belongs to Trust

On a Grant Deed of the vacant land lot property belongs to Trust, the trustees are Husband and Wife, but they are currently divorced, the ex-husband has court documents the lot belongs to him.

To purchase this property do we need to record just a new Grant Deed with only his signature or... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jun 23, 2022

I am an estate planning/probate attorney and also a licensed real estate broker. I recommend entering into a proper Purchase Agreement for Vacant Land and having a title/escrow company issue title insurance. The title company may require additional documentation before they issue the title... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: if someone’s will says you recieve the money through the trust at age 21 but the trust now says 40

the trust didn’t always say 40. just lost the copy of the original but would i. e able to take it to court and get atleast some of

the money

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Jun 23, 2022

Looks Like something fishy is happening here looks like you should hire yourself a good lawyer to investigate and file a suit if necessary.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: If a will can't be found and the estate goes to probate, does the length of marriage factor into what a spouse receives?

For example, if your 75 year old father got married a year before he died, will probate court take into consideration that his "wife" was only so for a year, where as his money and assets were acquired over the lifetime of his 40plus year marriage to the mother of his two grown children,... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jun 23, 2022

Surviving Spouse is a Heir At Law under TN's Intestate Succession Statute. Also a Surviving Spouse has various rights in the Decedent's Estate under the Probate Statutes. You are confused with Divorce laws.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: If a will can't be found and the estate goes to probate, does the length of marriage factor into what a spouse receives?

For example, if your 75 year old father got married a year before he died, will probate court take into consideration that his "wife" was only so for a year, where as his money and assets were acquired over the lifetime of his 40plus year marriage to the mother of his two grown children,... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jun 27, 2022

That is a good question because the surviving spouse's share is different depending on whether or not there is a will. If there is no will, like my colleague Mr. Avery stated, the surviving spouse's share is determined by the laws of intestate succession. At the risk of oversimplifying,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Can I, sole beneficiary, take control of my Maryland GST from my still living dad due to breach of fiduciary duties?

I was not informed a GST with me as the only beneficiary, existed until my cousin recently lost her mother (my aunt), and she sent me the paperwork from the GST now that her and her brother are dissolving theirs(other half of the original trust).

I have severe health issues including a... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jun 23, 2022

A beneficiary of a trust has the right to obtain a copy of the trust and receive an accounting of the assets, to include investment performance of the assets and transactions in and out of the trust. Your starting point should be a written demand on the trustee for both of these things. Upon... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for California on
Q: As an out-of-state son (#1) and named beneficiary, how do I get a trust accounting from an uncooperative executor?

As an out-of-state son (#1) and named beneficiary, is it possible to get a trust accounting and a copy of the current (I've seen an older one) trust from a completely uncooperative other son (#2) who is the executor and POA? He keeps moving my mother to different facilities (early alsheimers)... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jun 22, 2022

Unfortunately, you may have an elder abuse situation on your hands. Elder abuse includes both physical abuse and taking advantage of someone with limited mental capacity by spending all their money. I'm sorry to say it sounds like you need to hire a lawyer because your brother won't... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Can my mother as “next of kin” get access to my brothers bank account even with a will?

My brother passed on Sunday. He left a holographic will and named an executor. He was also a lawyer so I don’t have any reason to question the validity. I am in contact with the executor and she’s going to file the will today or tomorrow. My mom is next of kin and has been estranged from my... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jun 22, 2022

No one can legally access another person's bank account without specific authorization. If your brother had assets with a total dollar value of more than $184,500 (excluding retirement and a few other items), then your family will have to go through a court process called Probate BEFORE... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: In Ohio can someone reduce the amount they are to inherit to give more to the other heirs or do you have to do per will.

If a will is wrote to cheat the step kids out of some of their father's money, can the person inheritting the most reduce their inheritance and give some to the other heirs mentioned in the will?

Nicholas P. Weiss
Nicholas P. Weiss
answered on Jun 22, 2022

A person receiving money in an inheritance can do whatever they want with it. They can waive some of their inheritance if they wish, but the easier thing to do would be to just transfer some of their inherited funds to the parties who did not receive anything.

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